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Dictionary Skills...obsolete?
Old 01-01-2019, 05:43 PM
 
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A co-worker said that dictionaries will be obsolete because of the internet, so she doesn't really teach dictionary skills. What do you think of this?


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Dictionary Skills
Old 01-01-2019, 05:57 PM
 
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Well, I know my own high-schooler will go upstairs and get his phone to ask Siri rather than go across the room to get the dictionary, so your friend is probably right.

Unfortunately, I think there are many skills like this nowadays. If we leave them in the standard curriculum, it reinforces students' beliefs that we're making them learn useless things. But at the same time, I firmly believe we need some people who know how to do things "the old fashioned way".

I think the solution lies in some sort of elective program, but I'm too tired to come up with it tonight.
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:03 PM
 
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My stu$ent love looking in he dictionary! I do think it is a skill they mos5 likely will not need, but in my class we arenít one to one with devices, so necessary there.

I think typing as we learned is also obsolete, but at the time they still need the skill, so... they are learning that, too. One day they might be glad to know old fashioned skills.

Last week I had to pay cash for my gas due to geographical internet outage, and that is something I have not done in 30 years at least. I was glad to understand the process.
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:54 PM
 
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I think its a good skill to have out in the real world.
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:10 PM
 
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My district would say it's obsolete. Many classrooms don't have them. I have a few. I think there should be a happy medium.


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Old 01-01-2019, 07:53 PM
 
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Once a word is found, whether it's in a book or online, wouldn't there still be value in discussing elements of words like parts of speech, pronunciation, syllables, and definitions?

So maybe the flipping through a dictionary is outdated, but I don't think the deeper word study is.
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:56 PM
 
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I agree it's obsolete. I can't imagine a scenario where one would need to use a real dictionary.

That said, some local organization comes in and gives our 3rd grade students paper dictionaries every year and they love them, at least temporarily. I tutor 3rd graders after school and have some options that they can do during the time they're not in group with me, and the day the dictionaries came two students asked if they could read their dictionary during independent time .

If it's one of your state standards, I'd touch on it briefly, but I wouldn't spend much time on it at all.

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I think typing as we learned is also obsolete, but at the time they still need the skill, so... they are learning that, too.
Why do you think this? I can't imagine laptops going away any time soon. I know people are doing more on their phones, but is there really going to be a point where college students are writing ten page papers on their phones?

My typing teacher in MS was as annoying as all get out and kept saying it would be the most valuable thing we learned. Looking back, she might be right as far as skills I still use on a regular basis. My dad still "hunts and pecks" and it takes him 4x longer to do any of his schoolwork. I can't imagine not knowing how to type! When I visited home last week, I forgot my laptop and was so annoyed. I posted very little here because it was so much slower with my phone.
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Not yet!
Old 01-02-2019, 06:08 AM
 
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Spend some time in rural America before declaring dictionaries obsolete. Not only is the internet notalways available, for many families it is unaffordable. I am involved in a program that provides paper dictionaries to third graders. The kids love them and feel impowered. They look up things because they can, not because they have to... The day may come when we implant a Dictionary chip in kidsí brains but we are not there yet.

Dictionary skills are not just about finding words if they are taught correctly any way and they are not that complex or difficult to teach. Personally, I think not teaching them is short-sighted and equivalent to cheating the kids.

Saw a great thought today... ďFor those people sitting in a laundromat talking on your iPhone, you could have bought a washer/dryer for the same money.Ē
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Dictionary skills
Old 01-02-2019, 07:27 AM
 
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I donít think theyíre obsolete. In fact, itís still a second grade standard. Aside from basic how to find a word and itís meaning, you are teaching sorting skills,problems solving (where should I start to look..at the beginning, middle, end), the various parts of speech some words can be as verb and a noun and an adjective, etc. thereís a lot more subtle lessons being taught in dictionary skills.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:14 AM
 
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Why do you think this? I can't imagine laptops going away any time soon
. Laptops are not going away, but keyboards are. Some from redesign to make it easier to use on mobile devices, and many already use speech to type text. I see many people who donít type to text. If you go to any tech conferences, they say that typing will soon be unnecessary.


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Dictionary Skills
Old 01-03-2019, 03:01 PM
 
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Keltikmom nailed it, "Aside from basic how to find a word and itís meaning, you are teaching sorting skills,problems solving (where should I start to look..at the beginning, middle, end), the various parts of speech some words can be as verb and a noun and an adjective, etc. thereís a lot more subtle lessons being taught in dictionary skills." In this modern day so many of the basic life skills are being tossed aside with the rationalization of modern technology. Nothing brings the absurdity of this to the forefront than having a young person stare at you with a blank look when you hand him/her a $5.00 bill and 3 pennies when your food total is $4.53 and the power has gone out on their electronic cash register. With that in mind everyone needs to understand how a dictionary works and what valuable information can be gleaned from one. Yes, I'm old but I learned so many valuable skills which serve me to this day. Rant done....
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Paper dictionaries may become obsolete but..
Old 01-03-2019, 04:56 PM
 
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we still need to understand the skills. What good does it do to use an online dictionary if you don't understand what it is telling you? I would teach how to use both.

Same with map skills. Yes, my phone will give me directions, but a paper map gives me much more information and leads to broader understandings.
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Old 01-03-2019, 08:46 PM
 
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dictionary skills are in our kindergarten expectations. thank goodness.
it seems that no one on the internet knows how to use a dictionary anymore, which is so sad.
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Old 01-03-2019, 09:33 PM
 
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Laptops are not going away, but keyboards are. Some from redesign to make it easier to use on mobile devices, and many already use speech to type text. I see many people who donít type to text. If you go to any tech conferences, they say that typing will soon be unnecessary
I hope this doesn't really happen! I hate speech to text and find typing (on a real keyboard, not phone) to be much faster. It feels like trying to do something like speech to text for a paper/assignment would be excruciating. I can't imagine having to do something like my IEPs without typing. Now I feel like I'm one of those old people that complains about the new technology .
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Text to speech
Old 01-04-2019, 06:57 AM
 
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I agree Haley. I don't like text to speech either unless it's on my phone. And when you do text to speech there is no spelling involved for the speaker, which for kids still learning how to spell would be detrimental I think.
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Old 01-04-2019, 01:49 PM
 
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Laptops are not going away, but keyboards are. Some from redesign to make it easier to use on mobile devices, and many already use speech to type text. I see many people who donít type to text. If you go to any tech conferences, they say that typing will soon be
I find when I use speech to text on my phone I always have to correct many words.
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Old 01-04-2019, 04:38 PM
 
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Yes me too.
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Old 01-04-2019, 05:33 PM
 
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I hear what ya'll are saying.

The tech conferences I have gone to, though, really make me think. They anticipate that by the time the kids I teach graduate school that a majority of the good paying jobs do not even exist at this time. How do we get kids ready for things that don't even exist?

They think that people will have some sort of implant (inside our DNA) where to search the internet they will have to touch a spot on their arm and do a 3d internet search without any devices. Isn't that crazy? When I look back at all the changes in this world from the time I grew up, it is amazing and a little easier to believe. Do they even need to know how to research? Or do they need to know how to decide what information is believable?

The whole changing world is insane, but we do have to prepare this generation for it. Typing? Does it hurt to learn it? Dictionary? Does it hurt to learn it? No, but it isn't the end all to their futures.
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:17 AM
 
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I think dictionaries have gone the way of card catalogs. Iím a dinosaur and I havenít touched a dictionary in years.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:19 AM
 
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Saw a great thought today... ďFor those people sitting in a laundromat talking on your iPhone, you could have bought a washer/dryer for the same money.Ē
How is that a great thought? It's disparaging people living in poverty. If the apartment they live in doesn't have hook ups for a W/D, buying a set doesn't benefit them at all. It also increases utility bills. And that iPhone may well be the only internet connection they have access to. It basically says, "Poor people don't deserve nice things. That "luxury" item is WHY you're poor, dummy."

I suggest you read Ruby Payneís book ďA Framework for Understanding Poverty.Ē
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I'm torn...
Old 01-05-2019, 07:28 AM
 
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I know that we do not have many uses for a traditional dictionary AND that many schools have gone away from paper and ink textbooks. I know that.

But, for those of us still using textbooks, "dictionary skills" are still necessary for the students to successfully navigate the glossary, index and similar.

I also think that although dictionaries are not really a focus now, word study still is important.
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For Zia
Old 01-05-2019, 11:45 AM
 
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How is that a great thought?
No argument over poverty was intended or invited... nor was it a disparaging comment on poverty. We were (I thought) talking about making choices and the value of critical thinking and priorities. The quote was a wrap up to my entire comment which attempted to make the point that thinking dictionary skills are obsolete because of the Internet is a bit one-dimensional and simplistic. There are additional factors--some of which I've suggested. It's a great thought because it drives home the point that choices and decisions aren't always as simple as they seem--especially to those who don't have to suffer the consequence of the decision.

In fact, one of the fallacies in not teaching dictionary skills "because we have the internet" is that in the rural America I live in, the Internet is not universally available even to those who can afford it and, for a number of families, it's not affordable even where it is available. If we don't teach dictionary skills and provide a $2 dictionary the kid doing his or her homework might not be able to finish until he or she can get to the library and use a computer. He or she also has a limited opportunity to explore without that dictionary and the ability to use it. I think THAT's disparaging--or more perhaps cheating--people who live in poverty.

When we make decisions (like whether or not dictionaries are obsolete and should we teach cursive and...) we might consider what the question really is about... and just maybe the question isn't as simple as it looks at first... or maybe it's not even the right question. Because in the end, our answer equates to making a decision for someone else.

I appreciate your suggestion for a reading assignment but frankly, you read far more into my comment than was there. If anything, I was defending people who live in poverty, not disparaging them.
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Old 01-05-2019, 03:49 PM
 
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It depends. There are so many skills at use when using "dictionary skills" that are still important and being practiced less and less but are of high importance to many other things.

Just ignoring finding the definitions or spelling for a moment....
Holding onto important information while you are performing a task.
Visually scanning and recognizing.
Processing letter order continually.
Approximation.
Identification.

Now, what skills are you using from the dictionary. Sadly it is often used for a spell checker which is a horrible thing for those who can't spell well. But when it comes to definitions, parts of speech, synonyms, and antonyms it is a beast. As part of dictionary skills, we learned to see how a word differs depending on how it was used, how one word as many different meanings and often subtle differences, and how it and its spelling changes when used as different parts of speech.

Needing a dictionary may be obsolete, but there are so many things to be investigated and learned under "dictionary skills".

I think kids need more of it, not less, even if they can have instant access via Siri.
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Maybe a paper dictionary
Old 01-07-2019, 05:12 PM
 
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As a book, maybe dictionaries are becoming obsolete, but not dictionary skills.
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:06 PM
 
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They need to know how to use one for situations where they cannot access technology. In Texas all students taking the STAAR reading test can have a dictionary, but no electronics.



Outside of testing, I have students who like the feel of books so prefer to use a dictionary for looking things up.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:46 AM
 
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Due to physical limits, dictionaries are obsolete. Every year, they have to cut words either due to new words or words falling out out of favors or being too specialized (you'd have to look in a specialized dictionary).
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Elementary
Old 01-22-2019, 05:57 PM
 
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We are supposed to teach dictionary and thesaurus skills in my state. But guess what? They are forbidden in state testing during the written portion of the end of year assessments.

Brilliant. Outstanding.
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